Covent Garden has no shortage of excellent Italian restaurants and pizzerias, from family-run favourites to new kids on the block. Places with a real buzz, a winning menu and authentic recipes that transport you to the sun kissed Italian coast, countryside and city streets. So let’s dive into the most delicious Italian restaurants in Covent Garden.
San Carlo Cicchetti
From the outside, San Carlo Cicchetti looks like a small Italian delicatessen. Inside, it stretches into a spacious, chic marble-filled restaurant. Cicchetti are small plates, so this is Italian tapas, Covent Garden-style, where you order a few dishes, and they arrive when they’re ready. The menu is seasonal, with produce bought from Italy. The servers are knowledgeable and charming, more than happy to help you choose the right dishes and wine pairing. Try the gnocchi gorgonzola, but do leave room for the dessert tray.
Sartori restaurant Covent Garden does Neapolitan Italian food with all the panache you’d expect from an authentic trattoria. Established in 2010, the restaurant prides itself in being a natural choice for Italians who want food from home. The chefs are from Naples, and they prepare their food with a focus on flavours and textures. You can order your pizza by the metre or choose from the extensive menu of pasta and antipasti dishes, all at very reasonable prices. Try the pizze speciali campagnola made with mozzarella, porcini cream, sausage, courgettes and truffle oil. It’s pizza as it should be.
Ave Mario, Covent Garden
Opened in summer 2021, Ave Mario is the new Italian restaurant in Covent Garden everyone is talking about. It’s less a meal out and more of a kitsch theatrical performance from the moment you step through the door. It’s big, bold and intentionally Instagram-worthy, with three themed floors. In the basement is a Studio 54-style disco theme, and the main room is bright red booths with zebra-striped walls where mixologist whip up cocktails in style. The must-have dish is the 60cm gelato tower cake, wheeled to your table and coated in caramel. Heavenly!
Pasta Brown, Covent Garden
Family is everything at Pasta Brown, a family-owned Neapolitan pasta restaurant with big-hearted flavours. The family recipes, the lovingly prepared dishes and the staff who make you feel special combine to create your memorable meal and experience at Pasta Brown – you’ll be back time and again. Try Carmella’s homemade meatballs in her spaghetti polpette with tomato sauce and garlic, but do save space for their family favourite: banoffee pie. It’s the pasta place Covent Garden is lucky to have.
Combine your Italian meal with a night or two at The Clermont, Victoria nearby for a touch of historic elegance and abundant home comforts in easy reach of all the delights of Covent Garden.